TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It was a heartbreaking end to the season for the Toledo Walleye.
But to cap off the end of hockey season Toledo Walleye, the team came together with fans one last time. A free fan appreciation night was held in Downtown Toledo for one final salute Thursday night.
The Walleye had a great season, making it into the second round of the playoffs.
Thursday was a chance for the team to come back home, and thank their loyal fans, for a great season.
"We can't let hockey season end without saying goodbye. You've got to come see them and you've got to give them a proper send-off. Make them feel good. Even though they lost, we've got to make them feel good," said Holly-Lynn Palmer-Wright, a Walleye fan.
Fans of all ages came out to thank their favorites in return.
Jennifer and Greg Hoffman brought their two little boys to the Huntington Center, as they have many times before.
"Say, what, what's your whole bedroom, buddy?"Jennifer asked her son, Nathan.
"Walleye," he shouted.
"Why?" she asked
"Because I love all the guys!" Nathan said.
"Are they the best?" mom asked.
"Yeah." Nathan affirmed.
Ian Hendrix is going to be moving to Michigan soon with his family, but he says he'll definitely stay a Walleye fan.
"I came to see the players, and get, have a good time. Specifically, Simone," said Ian.
Coaches and players addressed fans from the ice before signing autographs and really, just hanging out.
Some of the fans were there to witness what it will be like for them someday.
WTOL asked some of the youngest fans what they wanted to be when they grew up.
"A hockey player," laughed young fan, Alex Reeser.
He was in the front row tonight to make sure not to miss out on seeing his favorite athletes up close.
There's 170 days left until opening night.
While it may not be their favorite team, Walleye fans will have something to do in the meantime.
"Go Mud Hens!" exclaimed Hendrix.
With 28 sold-out games this season, the Walleye want to thank you, Toledo, and are counting down the days until the 2018-2019 season themselves.